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Ruth Hill teacher uses podcasts to aid with learning

  • By Jeffrey Cullen-Dean
  • |
  • May. 05, 2022 - 5:01 PM

Ruth Hill teacher uses podcasts to aid with learning

Photo courtesy Mary Thompson

Mary Thompson, left, takes her fourth grade students for a walk while listening to The Walking Classroom. From left, Thompson, Alyssa Quick, Emery Landrum, Connor Bruce, Paris Thornton, Chloe Duck and Isabella McMillan.

Ruth Hill Elementary School REACH teacher Mary Thompson received a partial grant for The Walking Classroom, an education initiative that combines learning and exercise.

TWC is a podcast featuring a teacher and two students discussing topics in English language arts, science, social studies, character studies and health benefits. TWC also operates as a nonprofit.

Students take a 20 minutes walk while listening to the podcast and take a quiz afterwards to test their understanding of the material.

Research shows that listening to instruction while moving increases the students ability to recall information, Thompson said, which improves test scores.

Thompson said she has began using TWC with her second, third, fourth and fifth grade students.

"Instantly, the students were engaged and excited to use the program," she said via email.

Thompson said she learned of TWC while attending the Georgia Association for Gifted Children conference in Athens, Georgia.

Students are able to listen to TWC's podcasts via an MP3 player from the nonprofit or through an app available for mobile devices.

The program features more than 150 podcasts for students.

According to its website, TWC was created by Laura Feen, a fifth-grade teacher in North Carolina, to give students more opportunities for physical activity during the school day.